Finished Objects: Holiday Striper and Dolly Dress

According to conventional wisdom, a red hat with black shoes is a gasp-worthy offense.  I have both a black hat and red shoes, I stepped out in these.  The hat makes me happy and the shoes are comfortable.


When I first started sewing kooky old patterns, I stuck to black and/or white fabrics.  The more I sew the clothes that please me, the less I worry men in white coats will chase me down the sidewalk.  No one points and laughs (that I can see)- in fact, people look me in the eye and smile.  Especially old men.   Someone told me recently that they pass angry-looking “gothic” teenagers in the street every day, that it’s nice to see someone stand out while looking feminine and lady-like.  It’s pretty obvious I’m giving the finger to the establishment, but it’s with a twinkle in my eye rather than a snarl.

I intended this dress for holiday photos but I woke up on Christmas Eve with a stomach flu and couldn’t attach the sleeves and hem it to save my life.  Last night, I finished her already.  I can wear this as a summer dress.  Did I mention it’s raining constantly?

Sleeves cut on the bias from Wearing History’s “Smooth Sailing” blouse.   How revolting, my guns wouldn’t fit.  I usually alter 30’s patterns for my biceps, but I figured it would be unnecessary in a modern repro.  I cut and sewed the underarm seam by the time I realized my mistake, so chopped them to cap sleeves.  Sorry, Lauren!

I built this dress with extra holiday ease.  I put on weight over the holidays, but it’s still big on me.  That’s my Anti-Grinch hat, denuded for ordinary wear.  I tell myself it camouflages my hair.

Another Ice Cream dress, completed in time for holidays.  We wore our dresses to the Natural History museum today.

From the front.


  1. I know you were worried about a candy-striper look, but the style of the dress somehow mutes the stripes, maybe because they are both horizontal and vertical. Who knows? I also love that you stay with the look and hem things well below the knee. I have this hangup about things drifting below my knees, but I may give it a try.

  2. J- Funny you should say that, I'm allergic to showing my knees. They look ok and everything, but I feel uncomfortable. I like old patterns because they cover a little more, though this is the first time I haven't shortened a skirt. Minerve skirt is a knee-grazing version of the same skirt.K- Heh heh hehh…. More flies with honey and all that…

  3. I love the dress! The striped fabric is fantastic–I've been thinking of making a stripey dress for awhile! And I love the double breasted effect with the buttons—so lovely! Great job!

  4. Oh, I love the fun things you did with the stripes on this! The front is wonderful with the buttons, collar and belt. I know the dress is definitely vintage but it also looks really modern to me. And I love the color combo in your daughter's dress. Re- the comment you made on my blog— Skinks!?!? No way I could handle finding a skink in my house.

  5. Very pretty indeed. As a 37yo mom of 3 I find that dressing in a skirt or dress garners me MUCH attention, but mostly from other mommies. Often…"What's the occassion?" or "Nothing clean to wear?" Older generation loves it though and I tell ya, I got a wolf whistle from a 6 year old yesterday (at Church!). I think I was the only one is a skirt (besides little girls) in a church of 200. I don't care though. LOVE your blog. It's my favorite and I swear YOU are the one that outbids me on some of the patterns you have bought.

  6. It's a great dress. I love the stripes.So much for the establishment, heh! I have to say, I've been wondering what the "alter-feminism" in your subtitle means.Where I live (MN) people's clothes are so subdued, the slightest hint of interest or fashion!? really stands out. I saw a lady in church do a double take at my argyle socks. Sewing for myself = more interesting, but also = a few double takes and raised eyebrows.

  7. I so wanted to play with the stripe in my 70s dress (not that any of it shows up in the photos anyway), but couldn't due to the stretch and non-reversibility. Love what you've done!No red hats with black shoes? Apparently I've been violating cardinal fashion rules almost daily in the winter for at least the last five years (I call it my 'hat that makes winter worthwhile.') well, they can go jump in a lake and we'll both look smashing together :)

  8. I love your dress! And it's not at all reminiscent of a candy-striper (even for someone who used to pore over her candy-striper picture book).

  9. The dress is adorable! I do think it needs a bigger hat though, or the hat needs a big feather sticking off to one side – something to balance the dress.I hope you aren't getting too much rain – the news from Oz is so worrying right now!

  10. Hah! I've been thinking about the whole red hat/black shoes thing, and then found this is my collection of images: McCall5530I think the vintage gods are smiling down on you and saying, "Yes, yes you can!"

  11. Pingback: Finished Object: Annelise Blouse « 3 Hours Past the Edge of the World

Is it kind, useful or interesting? Great!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s